September 21, 2022

Board Looking At Funding Options For Football Field Lights

By Jessica Wald

The Napoleon Public School Board is looking for ideas on purchasing new football lights for about $140,000 for the football field.

The board discussed the possible purchase during their regular monthly meeting last Monday morning, September 12, when all board members were present including President Crystal Johnson, Shawn Puklich, Tori Gross, Jeff Schneider and Taylor Grunefelder, along with Superintendent Rich Bjerklie and Elem. Principal Whitney Weigel, while HS Principal Chad Berger was absent. 

Bjerklie said the lights have been working for this year, but have gone out in previous years. One quote was received to install new lights at about $140,000 and Bjerklie asked what to do going forward. After brief discussion Board member Gross said it’s a tough sell after the board says ‘no’ to other academic purchases, but she said if the school does need them, she suggests the school doesn’t purchase them alone, but rather look to donations and fund raisers as well. Schneider agreed and said the school does need new lights, but it’s a hard decision for 4-5 games per year. The board agreed to table the purchase and ask around for ideas. 

A non-tuition open enrollment and bussing application was received from Kaye Schulz for a student under the Gackle-Streeter School District. Bjerklie noted last year the state decided to not provide bussing transportation reimbursement for open enrollments, which means bussing to the proposed residence (roughly an additional 32 miles/day) is around $10,000. The school receives state funds per pupil, so if a household has more than one student for bussing, the school doesn’t lose as much money because it would be the same for transportation costs. Schulz noted she is planning to house a foreign exchange student, but may also apply to house two, where the student(s) would live in town with a family for a few months until they fly south for the winter, then would come live with Schulz’s on the farm. The board explained the bussing contract with Schaffner Enterprises is billed by the year and does not matter how often a student rides the bus. 

Schulz said she would like to apply for. .